Smith in the break and Kopecky sprints to seventh at Valenciana

02 February 2024

Team Novo Nordisk sprang to life on stage three of the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana with British neo pro Nathan Smith animating the day long breakaway before Czech fastman Matyas Kopecky clicked through the gears to finish seventh in the reduced bunch sprint.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Fantastic day today, we ticked almost every box and the guys did a great job all round. We had highlighted this stage as one for Matyas since the beginning and he didn’t let us down, the finish was very hectic with a couple of cars he’s and a very late catch of Nathan’s breakaway group, but Matyas avoided the trouble and sprinted very well.”

“This is only the third day of racing for our guys this season and to come good this early in our calendar backs up all the hard work everyone has been doing and shows that we’re going in the right direction. We’ve been trying to get in the break since stage one, so I’m very happy Nathan made it today, neo pros need that experience and he rode strongly out there.”

Photo credits: SprintCyclingAgency©2024

Matyas Kopecky:

“It was a pretty crazy finish, but it feels great to have avoided most of the chaos and get a good result in our first race of the season. I didn’t  have the legs to go completely all out, but I’m happy with how I handled the finale and it was a big objective for us to get a top ten here today.”

“The team were fantastic throughout, Filippo looked after me all day as usual and Nathan did a great job in the breakaway, taking some stress out of the bunch for us and he had a really solid day.”

Nathan Smith:

“I really enjoyed my day out in the breakaway especially in such a high level race, it holds extra significance with it my first pro race. We worked well together the group, no one skipping pulls pretty much right up until we got caught inside the final two kilometers.”

“When I heard the time gap was stable at 30 seconds from 15km to go then still the same at 5km to go…I thought maybe we could do this, however it wasn’t meant to be today and it worked out well for us with Matyas getting a top ten the final. A great day for the team!”

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